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Canon 70-300 is L vs non

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Anyone here have any experience with both lenses? Is the upgrade to the new L version really that big a jump iq wise? Construction / weatherproofing doesn't really matter to me. I'd be getting one or the other for primarily sports... I do have a 70-200 2.8 and 35-350 but really want the is.  Thoughts?

The L version is a significant jump in IQ, moreso at the long end of the zoom range (a weak area of the non-L verison, and where you'd want better IQ presumably, since you already have a 70-200/2.8). 

Here's a comparison of the two at 300mm f/5.6.

Even though both have USM, the L lens also has better AF performance, which is important for action shots.  The IS system in the L lens is also newer, rated for 4 stops of improvement vs. 3 stops for the non-L lens.

I'm in nearly the same boat.

70-200/2.8+1.4TC Vs. 70-300L Vs. 100-400

70-200/2.8 would be more flexible, but I lose IS.
100-400 has the extra length, but lesser IS.
70-300L looks like a good compromise, but will be too slow indoors.

Given unlimited resources, I'd get the 70-200/2.8IS + 1.4&2TC.  But that's not the case.

I owned the 70-300 IS and was looking for more reach.  Didn't want the cost and physical size, so I started thinking about a better IQ and cropping.

Went down to the local store and tried a 70-200 2.8 with a teleconverter and the new 70-300 L.  Low light, indoors, taking a picture of a picture - WOW.  I have the new 70-300 L in my bag now.  It is tack sharp edge to edge on my crop sensor (60d).  I had no idea what the 60d was capable of until I put this lens on.

I was in no ways impressed with the 70-200 II 2.8 with the new 2x converter (didn't try the 1.4x) at roughly 300mm zoom.  Handheld, it underperformed my old 70-300 IS (didn't bother trying the tripod because I don't get to shoot with the tripod much which, yes, disqualifies me by the standards of many folks).

I'm just a hobbyist interested in some wildlife and landscape... I had no problem seeing the value in the upgrade.  Only problem is now I want more L glass (I think the L stands for Lust). 


--- Quote from: SteveCSmith on April 08, 2011, 11:22:52 AM ---Didn't want the cost and physical size, so I started thinking about a better IQ and cropping.

--- End quote ---

A sharper lens means a sharper cropped image, yes.  But cropping also increases the noise in your image, and a better lens won't help with that.


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